Two years after joining EU Croatia reforms still incomplete

Croatian authorities must step up to the plate and push through structural reforms, argues Davor Ivo Stier.

By Davor Ivo Stier

16 Jul 2015

While EU membership provides countries with an opportunity, it is not a guarantee of success. The level of growth of any EU member state still depends largely on its national government and its policies. 

As we mark the second anniversary of Croatia's accession to the EU, we need to take stock of progress made. 

The current economic crisis, high budget deficit and high youth unemployment rates demonstrate that much more could have been achieved, especially when it comes to utilising EU funds and undertaking necessary structural reforms.


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The conditionality principle used by the EU during the process of accession negotiations helped our country to implement crucial reforms in the field of judiciary and the rule of law. 

However, this reform process is not yet finished. Croatia needs to take a more assertive approach to further promoting the rule of law, good governance, and building transparent, effective and inclusive institutions. 

Creating this kind of legal certainty is crucial for promoting a business friendly climate necessary for attracting investments and growth. 

All of this is easier within the EU framework, but the initiative for structural reforms needs to come from Croatian authorities themselves and also requires the support of all relevant stakeholders and society.

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